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A history of research on Codex Bezae, with special reference to the Acts of the Apostles: evaluation and future directions

Panten, Kenneth (1995) A history of research on Codex Bezae, with special reference to the Acts of the Apostles: evaluation and future directions. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Considering the amount of material written on Codex Bezae down through the centuries a detailed history of research into the codex has long been overdue. Such a history is important not only to give future researchers an understanding of what has gone on before,. but also to facilitate an understanding of the development of ideas and their outcome. As Codex Bezae is the principal witness of the so-called Western text, much of what has been written centres upon its text. Nevertheless from the end of the last century there has been a growing awareness among scholars of the need to give the other details contained within the codex far more attention than hitherto.

Inasmuch as the D text is the main rival to the Alexandrian text as the best representative of the otiginal exemplar, it is of no surprise that Codex Bezae and its text have been of interest to the textual critics. Over the last century and a half there have always been those advocating the supremacy of the D text, and such claims have attracted much attention. For this reason, Codex Bezae has never been far from the focus of scholarly debate. This debate would be greatly helped if Codex Bezae could be accurately located historically, for this, briefly, is the nub of the problem - where and when was it written? Any avenue of inquiry ever pursued, any investigation ever embarked upon, has the answer to this question as its prime objective. Hence the importance of this history, for we need to know how the debate has progressed if we are to avoid repeating previous fruitless enterprises and if we wish to build upon previous fruitful endeavours.

Having established the history of research on Codex Bezae it was opportune to assess the claims and counterclaims, to sift the data, and to separate the more factual evidence from the many hypotheses, in order to establish a solid base from which to launch future inquiries.

Consequently this thesis provides:
1. a detailed history of the research on Codex Bezae;
2. an analysis of the existing evidence;
3. a detailed catalogue of scholars who have contributed to the debate;
4. details of my own investigations into the historical use of unusually spelled words in the Bezan text; and
5. suggested avenues for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Supervisor(s): Moore, Richard
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